Cafe Salade de Fruits

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I’ve always wanted to try Cafe Salade de Fruits, but I thought that it would be a bit of a walk from work. We decided to head over there anyways, and surprisingly, it was only a 10 minute walk, so it’s not too bad. This is such a hidden gem, since the restaurant name isn’t really obvious and there aren’t too many restaurants in this area. It’s tucked away in the French Cultural Center.

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They have interior seating, but since it was a sunny day, we sat outside in their patio.

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The spot is as French as it gets. All the employees have a thick French accent and many of their diners also speak French. This is the spot to go to if you want casual French bistro food.

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Lunch starts off with complimentary bread and butter. The bread was extremely soft and fluffy.

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Sandwich of the Day: Steak Sandwich with Fries

All the guys went for the Sandwich of the Day, which was a Steak Sandwich for $10. This came with your choice of green salad or fries. They all went for the fries. They were warned that they do not serve ketchup with fries, but rather mayonnaise only. That’s the way the French do it! Some of them wished that there was ketchup, but they had to make do with the mayo. The portions are huge! You get a good amount of steak and it was cooked to tender. Most of them couldn’t clear their plate of fries!

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Moules et Frites (Regular)

Although I wanted to try the Steak Sandwich too, I had heard great things about their Moules et Frites. So, I spent a bit more for lunch to try this dish out and I couldn’t be anymore happier. I got the regular size for $16 and it was a huge pot! The mussels were one of the most fresh and plump mussels I’ve had. There were no empty shells. You can choose between some broths, and I went for the classic white wine and shallots. All the guys tried some and said they were delicious! It also came with a huge order of fries again. These were skinny and crispy. I ended up dipping them into my broth. I wished there was more bread to do so as well.

Overall, we were extremely pleased with Cafe Salade de Fruits. I think these are some of the best mussels I’ve had in Vancouver! They also offer a variety of soups, sandwiches, and quiches. A must try!

Pros:
– Mussels are fresh and plump
– Portions are huge and price is reasonable

Cons:
– Not much parking in the area

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 2 Overall: 4

Cafe Salade de Fruits Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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MoMa Contemporary Bistro

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For my birthday this year, I decided to do a small birthday dinner and wanted to stay in Richmond. The foodie inside of me told me that I needed to try something new though. And so I looked around and finally decided on MoMa Contemporary Bistro, which is in one of the oddest location hidden next to a printing company on Cambie Rd., hence most people don’t even know it exists.

The two chefs are Asian but have extensive culinary experience in Italian and French cuisine, so MoMa offers a fusion of that. The interior is small, but can fit probably around 30 diners. Simple ambiance and definitely bistro style. On a Friday night, it was rather empty. Service was a bit disappointing as our server was almost too quiet for our large group and was difficult to hear the specials. She also had to read off her paper, which didn’t seem too professional.

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Steamed Clams

Anyway, onto the food. Our server had warned us that the dishes are quite small, but are meant for sharing. How are you supposed to share when the dishes are so small though…? Well SF got the Steamed Clams and this had a sake-miso broth, wakame, and scallions. I almost wished this came with bread or fries, since it seemed like a rather small portion to get full. I had a taste of this and the broth was quite good with the clams being fresh.

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Prawn Fritters

MC and K shared the Prawn Fritters which are crusted with seaweed and came with a MoMa chili aioli. Again, the portion was quite small for around $11.

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Seafood Bouillabaisse

Their special of the day was the Seafood Bouillabaisse. It had clams, shrimp, and peas. My friends said this was just alright. I also found it sloppy that the rims of the dish wasn’t cleaned since they seemed to focus on appearance here.

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BC Sablefish

For myself, I shared with S a few dishes. The first dish was the BC Sablefish, which came with farmer’s vegetables, spaetzle, and a soy marinade. I really enjoyed the salad as the dressing was slightly sweet with a hint of citrus. The fish was cooked sous vide and was moist, but the portions were quite small given it was $25. Seemed more like an appetizer, but priced as an entree.

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Fresh Chorizo Linguine

A got the Fresh Chorizo Linguine which features their house made marinara sauce. He said it was good but quite average. Didn’t blow his mind.

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Slow Braised Veal Cheek Pappardelle

ML got the Slow Braised Veal Cheek Pappardelle, which was also an item I was eying. It’s topped with parmigiano cheese and he said it was quite good.

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Portions were quite small again though, but price was more justifiable at $17 since Ask For Luigi prices and portions are similar.

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Mushroom Tagliatelle

MC and K also shared the Mushroom Tagliatelle. It features truffle oil and a mushroom raga. Not bad.

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Scallops

Next, I shared the Scallops with SS and it was beautifully presented. For a dish like this, I don’t mind paying a little more if they take the time to plate it nicely.

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It came with a celery root puree, potato chips, peas, and MoMa bacon. The scallops were seared nicely and there wasn’t any gritty sand in it. I also quite liked the celery root puree and those homemade potato chips.

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Pemberton Meadows Beef Striploin

Lastly, SS and I shared the Pemberton Meadows Beef Striploin. The dishefeatures a 8oz grass fed natural beef striploin, roasted potatoes with snap peas and a black pepper jus.

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We asked for medium rare, but I felt that it was closer to a medium. I also really disliked how there were these fatty parts still stuck on the rims which were chewy. I ended up cutting most of that off. It was alright, but definitely not worth the $28 given the beef was rather chewy.

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Overall, my friends and I found MoMa to be quite disappointing based on that nights service. I came here knowing that portions were going to be small and pricey, but I would have been fine with it if the food was executed well. My favourite dish was probably the scallops, but many of the other dishes were just average and I wouldn’t pay that price for it. Service was also very disappointing since the server had took down our orders based on where we were seated, but for some reason, our dishes were being placed in front of the wrong people. There was also an 18% gratuity as we had a larger group, but when we gave her more cash than what was on the bill, she did not return any of our change until my friend asked. Quite a disappointment overall, but I guess they are doing something right since they have been around for a few years.

Pros:
– Most plates are presented quite nicely
– Some decent dishes and many dishes use local ingredients

Cons:
– Small portions and average food for high prices
– Felt that service we received that night was unprofessional

Price Range: $30-40

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 2 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 2.5 Overall: 2.5

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Twisted Fork Bistro

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Twisted Fork is a busy little bistro on the Granville strip in downtown Vancouver.  No reservations mean long waits, but as we arrived at the restaurant around 6:00PM, we managed to get seating almost immediately.

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The restaurant features an open kitchen concept with seating that features an ample amount of pillows. In a word, it’s “chill.” Service is friendly.

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The menu features a “fresh sheet”, featuring dishes which may change daily (updates are provided on their website).

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The complimentary bread was average, suffering from being both cold and tough to the chew.

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Duck Confit

S ordered the Duck Confit with bacon braised cabbage, jus and pickled pumpkin. He said that it was “not bad.”

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Mussels with Frites

I got the Mussels with Frites, which feature a pound of mussels tossed in cream sauce and topped with fries. I think the fries were actually yam fries, so that’s always a plus. However, the fries were quite soggy. The mussels were small, but sweet. Quite good

Pros:
– Quality food
– Cozy ambiance with friendly service

Cons:
– Bread was disappointing
– Usually long waits and no reservations

Price Range: $20-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3
Service: 3
Ambiance: 3
Parking: 3
Overall: 3

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Mon Ami Gabi – Las Vegas

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Over the long weekend, I headed to Las Vegas for a girls’ trip. On the first night, we decided to try Mon Ami Gabi, which is located in the Paris Hotel. Right next to the Eiffel Tower.

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The restaurant is famous for their patio, since you can people watch, but I had made reservations online, which was only for indoor seating. That was fine with us, since the patio seating would mean long waits. We were seated right away since we had reservations, so be sure to do so if you don’t mind indoor seating.

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The restaurant is dimly lit with a bar on one side. Mon Ami Gabi specializes in classic French cuisine. Our server was very friendly and made me laugh with his enthusiasm and thick French accent.

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Complimentary Bread and Carrot Salad

Dinner came with complimentary bread and a carrot salad. Bread was soft and fluffy, but the carrot salad was just average. Nothing too special.

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Sangria

We decided to start the night off with a pitcher of Sangria to share. A mix of red and white wine with fruits, this was tasty and great for sharing. You get at least two glasses each for three people.

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Chilled Seafood Platter

For appetizers, we decided to get the Chilled Seafood Platter to share. The great thing is that it’s one set price, and you can share it with everyone. Much better than what happens in Vancouver, where you need to order a minimum of two orders and the platter is made specifically for the number of people. Anyways, the platter came with a whole Maine lobster, jumbo shrimps with cocktail sauce, market oysters with mignonette and lemon, and salmon tartare with baguette chips. My favourite were probably the oysters and salmon tartare. The tartar was mixed with avocado and went great with the chips. The platter also came with some seaweed salad, which I enjoyed, but nothing too special. Overall, the seafood were decent, but I wouldn’t say they were extremely fresh compared to what you get in Vancouver.

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Caramelized Sea Scallops

For entrees, SP got the Caramelized Sea Scallops. The scallops were cooked perfectly and were very fresh. However, we found them slightly too salty. It also came with a side of butternut squash puree and brussels sprouts, which SP loved.

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Mussels Mariniere

For myself and SK, we both got the Mussels Mariniere. You can get half an order, but we got the full order for double the price. It ended up being a huge plate! The mussels were rather small, but they were still decent. It came with a white wine sauce with herbs. We both found the sauce slightly salty again. It seemed like everything in the States is just on the salty side.

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Signature Hand-cut Fries

The full order of mussels also came with a side of Signature Hand-cut Fries. These were extremely thin-cut and very crispy. I loved dipping it into the white wine sauce. But again, way over salted.

Overall, Mon Ami Gabi had some pretty good dishes, but we found everything too salty. Service and ambiance was also pretty good. Prices are actually pretty reasonable for Las Vegas, but it can add up with all the drinks and appetizers.

Pros:
– Good French dishes
– Great ambiance and service

Cons:
– Dishes are on the salty side
– Seafood may not be the freshest compared to what we have in Vancouver

Price Range: $40-50

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4
Service: 4
Ambiance: 4
Parking: N/A
Overall: 4

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Trafalgar’s Bistro

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Trafalgar’s Bistro. Located on West 16th, just West of Granville, this rustic, inviting restaurant sits next to the popular Sweet Obsessions.

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The restaurant is small, with an interior that is both intimate and warm. On a Friday night, it was surprisingly quite empty. We also found that we were probably the youngest diners all night.

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On top of their regular menu, they have a fresh sheet that changes daily depending on the seasonality and what’s available locally.

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Complimentary Bread

Dinner starts with complimentary bread and butter. The bread was crispy on the outside and soft inside. It ended up being great for dipping in my entree’s broth.

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Parsley Crusted Haida Gwaii Halibut

S got the Parsley Crusted Haida Gwaii Halibut, which came with roasted lobster mushrooms and spinach puree. S commented that the dish was visually unique, to which I concurred. Furthermore, the fish offered a supreme moistness complemented by the crispiness of the parsley crust.

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Salt Spring Moules with Bistro Fries

For myself, I got the Salt Spring Moules. This mussel dish is on their appetizer dish, but you can upgrade it to an entree portion size. The mussels were tender and fresh and the cream broth was flavoured with leeks, shallots, white wine and garlic. I also upgraded the fries to Bistro Fries, which are double fried and tossed with truffle oil, Parmesan and fresh herbs. It also came with a house made garlic aioli for dipping, but I didn’t find the need for it as the fries were already very flavourful and well seasoned.
In conclusion, Trafalgar’s Bistro was a pleasant dining experience.
Side note: street parking is amply available.

Pros:
– Fresh sheet changes daily based on what’s in season locally
– Quality eats and presented nicely

Cons:
– Portions are on the smaller side
– Service was there, but didn’t feel friendly

Price Range: $25-35

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4
Service: 3
Ambiance: 4
Parking: 4
Overall: 4

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Provence Marinaside

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For S’s birthday, I took her to Provence Marinaside in Yaletown. It’s located right by the water, but unfortunately we were seated near the back of the restaurant away from the view. The interior isn’t too modern nor fancy, but it gives you a comfy French countryside feel. Lunch started off with complementary bread. There were two types. One was your typical baguette which was more tough, while the second was something similar to a focaccia bread.

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Fresh Oyster

We started off with some Fresh Oysters. The server said there were two types. One was the Kusshi, but I didn’t catch on to what she said the second one was. It was served with a pear vinegar mignonette and fresh lemon. Very fresh, but I didn’t really like the sauce it came with. I liked the sauces at Rodney’s a lot more. They also don’t have any deals for oysters, so it comes to $2.50 per oyster, which is quite pricey.

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Panisse & Vegetables

S got the Panisse & Vegetables, which came to be a very interesting dish. Panisse is a dish from Provence and is pictured above as those rectangular fries. These were made with chick peas and seasoned with basil. They had a crispy exterior, but a very soft interior. Sort of like crispy potatoes. The dish also came with zucchini spaghetti, which S loved. A great alternative to your pasta full of carbs. Wilted leafy greens, fennel, red pepper and tomato coulis finished off the dish.

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Linguini Vongole

For myself, I got the Linguine Vongole, which is one of my all time favourite Italian pasta dishes. This featured clams, tomatoes, garlic, white wine, espelette pepper, parsley, and olive oil. They didn’t cheap out on the amount of clams in the dish and they were all sweet and fresh. The pasta was cooked to al dente and I loved the sauce. It was perfect for dipping your bread.

Overall, we were quite satisfied with the food. I also thought the prices were quite reasonable for their lunch menu considering that it’s located in Yaletown and is supposed to be a fine dining restaurant. Dinner however is supposed to be much pricier. Ambiance felt a little casual for a fine dining restaurant and service was just mediocre as well. As for parking, there is metered parking and parkades very close to the restaurant or the skytrain.

Pros:
– Food is above average
– Lunch menu prices are quite reasonable

Cons:
– Ambiance indoors is just average
– Dinner menu prices are not of as good value

Price Range: $20-25

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4
Service: 3
Ambiance: 3
Parking: 3
Overall: 3.5

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Ganache Patisserie

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Cassis et Matcha – cassis mascarpone cream, cassis gelee, milk chocolate parfait, matcha biscuit charlotte, blackberries

I’ve always heard great things about Ganache Patisserie, and finally I got to try them. Both desserts were matcha base desserts. The first was the Cassis et Matcha. Cassis is sort of like blackcurrant, so there was a sweet and sour taste to it.

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I love how the inside is all leveled with the layers. I really enjoyed the cassis flavoured mascarpone cheese. Very smooth. There wasn’t a lot of matcha flavour though.

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Matcha-Exotique – green tea mousse, mango-passionfruit gelee, lychees, black sesame biscuit joconde

The second was the Matcha-Exotique, which is a green tea mousse.

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In the middle, there is a mango-passionfruit gelee, which was my favourite part. The cake itself is a mix of black sesame biscuit cake and the green tea mousse. There are lots of textures going on, but it all works. I preferred this one over the first.

Overall, Ganache Patisserie makes quite unique cakes. Not your typical flavours and they definitely aren’t simple. Looking forward to trying their other cakes.

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L’Opera Patisserie

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L’Opera is located on Minoru Blvd next to the shops near Hilton Hotel. It’s an odd location for such a fancy looking patisserie. But good for me, since I don’t need to travel all the way downtown for some good pastries! There’s also free parking behind the Sheraton/Hilton parking lot. Anyways, I’ve purchased a pastry for a friend here, but I haven’t actually tried them myself. C gave me a box of L’Operamacarons for my birthday, so I am finally able to write about them! It comes in a beautiful box with a ribbon. The owners are Asian, but had training in Paris, so the shop and decor are all very Parisian.

When you open the box, you have a little note which tells you how long and how to store your macarons. They use natural and organic ingredients, so they can spoil if not kept properly.

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Green Tea, Caramel, Coffee, Chocolate, Pistachio, Rose

The macarons were actually quite small in size. Dainty and light. I found them smaller than the ones at Thiery. What I liked about them was that the colours were all very faint and light. It’s a sign that they probably didn’t use food colouring to achieve the colours. Creamy fillings and the shell itself is up to standards. I also like how they aren’t too sweet. My favourite was the coffee. It had such a strong aroma of coffee and I think there were some crushed coffee beans in it too.

Overall, very satisfied with the macarons at L’Opera. They come at around $2 a piece, so quite standard. It’s also super close to home, so I’ll definitely be visiting more often. They also have afternoon tea, which I hear is pretty good. Will definitely give that a try next!

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